By Nancy Richie
More than 60 volunteers enthusiastically embraced Sunday morning, Aug. 10, to clean up the Marco Island beach. By 9 AM, volunteers from CJ’s on the Bay led by Executive Chef Laura Own and a handful from Chop239 led by Deanna and Marco Porto walked the beach from theSouth Beach and Tigertail Beach accesses, meeting in the middle at the Marriott Resort to celebrate the beautiful morning over lunch and cold drinks.
This group removed dozens of bags of trash — plastic straws, broken toys, single shoes, dryer sheets, plastic and glass bottles, pieces of rope and fishing line, Styrofoam food containers, a miscellaneous t-shirt and much more. An army of volunteers swept the beach clean.
A community effort as always, the city of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee members Ralph Barnhart, Patti Miller and Debbie Roddy assisted in the effort, providing bags, gloves and bottled water that were all donated by Publix to all the volunteers. Bernardo Bezos, Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) board member, drove the MICA beach vehicle to pick up the full bags of trash and assist beach walkers.
The next monthly beach clean-up is scheduled for this Saturday, Aug. 23, at 8 AM. Meet us at the Marco Island South Beach Access. Community volunteers participating in this clean-up will be the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Marco. All public is encouraged and welcome to attend. If students need to accrue volunteer hours, this is a great opportunity to earn three or four hours.
The City of Marco Island’s Beach Advisory Committee would like to remind all beach goers to help keep our beach beautiful by remembering the following easy steps:
Leave Only Your Footprints: All trash, including cigarettes and fishing line, should be disposed in property containers. Glass containers or bottles are prohibited on the beach. If you bring it to the beach, take it home with you too!
No Live Shelling: Only shells that do not contain a live organism should be taken from the beach; if unsure, leave the shell.
Share the Beach with Our Wildlife: Do not feed or disturb wildlife; avoid nesting and resting birds and sea turtles and their nesting sites. Watch and enjoy from a respectful distance.
Lights Out for Sea Turtles: To protect and conserve sea turtle nesting and hatching, no flashlights or lights from mobile devices, such as phones or cameras, are allowed on the beach after 9 PM nightly, May 1-Oct. 31. All lights that can shine on the beach must be off or shaded this time of year.
No Dogs or Pets Allowed on the Beach: Only guide dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired persons are permissible on the Marco Island beach. No dogs are allowed on Sand Dollar Island “spit” as it is a State Critical Wildlife Area. Please keep all pets and dogs on your boat.
All Wheeled Vehicles Prohibited: No bicycles are allowed on the Marco Island beach. Strollers, wheelchairs, fishing wagons and licensed Beach Vendor vehicles are only permissible.
To report wildlife issues or concerns, such as harassment, dead or disorientated marine sea turtles or mammals, please call 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).
For more information or if you or your group or business are interested in sponsoring or participating in a beach clean-up, please contact Nancy Richie, environmental specialist for the city of Marco Island at 2329-389-5003 or [email protected].